The market for CAD design is growing around 7% a year. It is expected to be worth $7.3 billion by 2022.
CAD experts have a lot of job security, but they need to know how to get the most of the product. There are a lot of overlooked CAD features they may be missing out on.
Although there are currently many different types of CAD software on the market, Autocad was the first and is still the most used. However, most of the features that are available in AutoCAD are also available with other CAD versions. So, if you understand the principles of AutoCAD, you can use the same processes in other versions.
There are also other options that you can use in other CAD software applications. Some of them are even more versatile. However, at the moment we will focus on Autocad, because of its popularity.
I would like to clarify that I am using the 2015 version. The same commands should still be available in a lot of other versions of AutoCAD, as well as other CAD applications.
Some commands that people don’t know about are listed below. You can use them to get the most from your CAD software. They are available in both AutoCAD and free CAD software.
Data Extraction with DX Command
Data extraction is a process that allows CAD users to extract information from objects in drawings, properties, attributes of a block or other features and export them to a table or to an external file or Excel spreadsheet. This is very useful when gathering information to quantify, especially if your project is very large.
We can access this tool from our command line by typing the alias “DX” or using the auto complete tool. Before we can use the tool our drawing must be saved, otherwise DX will not run.
The benefits of the forgotten “Oops” command
OOPS is another CAD command most people don’t know about, despite the fact that it was released before either the Undo and Redo command. CAD used to delete geometry when creating a new block, so this command would allow you to restore it. The Oops command was used a lot more during the DOS version of AutoCAD, but it is still available today.
You can learn more about it from the Help Tutorials on the AutoCAD pages. They state that it will restore an object that was previously deleted the last time that the ERASE tool was used.
This is an accurate description, but it leaves out the most important benefit of this tool. The Oops command does not actually reverse any other changes that were made, which can make it a good feature if you want to retain certain changes.
Snap a Hatch or Object
Maybe you need to use reference to objects that have been shrunk too much. This is an option that in the most recent versions of Autocad is not activated by default, which previously is.
To activate it, simply go to the Options (or type OP). You will look at the “Drafting” tab, where you can see the options for references or Snap Options.
Deactivate the option “Ignore hatches” and you can use snap or references in hatches:
Using Hyperlinks in CAD
Hyperlinks are very useful for providing information to your objects. You can link any object to the manufacturer’s website/technical support, technical support email, specification documents, other dwg files.
Is it possible to link an object in AutoCAD to another file? If you needed to see the specifications of the component or the 3D model of a certain component of the drawing, then you can simply click on the link. Have you tried using hyperlinks?
Hyperlink may not be a popular feature in AutoCAD, but it may have some use. You can add hyperlinks to an object. Hyperlinks can be directed to the manufacturer’s website, to a Word document containing the installation procedure, to the Excel file containing the product specifications, or to another DWG file.
Inserting Hyperlinks into AutoCad is quite simple. You can access through the INSERT menu, from the INSERT panel, by typing “HIPERLINK, or with CTRL+K.
Autocad will then ask you to select the object to which you want to add the hyperlink, then the next dialog box will start. As you can see it is quite simple. The text to be displayed will include the Web address or local address. You will need to select the file, if it is local. You can also use Fields to use hyperlinks in a text.
Once you have added the hyperlink you have to use CTRL+CLICK to access it, as in many other programs.